Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Birth Story!

Our Birth Story:

DISCLAIMER: Before reading our birth story, please note that this is a very honest depiction of OUR labor. While we understand that some women may be blessed by the labor gods and be great laborers…this simply was not the case for us. We encountered the following problems:

1. We were induced

2. We stalled at 4cm and at 6cm

3. We had an occiput posterior position facing baby… which means we had horrible back labor

At 3:15pm on Wednesday, December 2nd we went to our normal weekly checkup at the birthing center – we were 38 weeks. We were a little concerned because I had been having problems with my blood pressure and I had been having a super-rapid heart rate and my face would blush during Braxton-Hicks contractions. My blood pressure turned out to be high – 120/90 in one arm after taking it several different times. Our midwife, Carol, had said that we need to start talking about an induction because for a few weeks my blood pressure hadn’t been getting any better and we were over the full-term mark.

We discussed our options and decided to start the induction by being given 1/4 of a pill called Cytotek vaginally at the office that day. After the insertion we were hooked up to a monitor for an hour to track our heart rates/contractions. The Cytotek worked very quickly and increased my contractions but they were still very mild. We were sent home that evening and were told to call the birthing center at 6am to make sure that no one else was in labor and then to take a half of Cytotek orally to increase contractions again. On the way home we filled up our car and called in a to-go order to Zio’s to pick up some Strawberry Chicken Field Salad and Chicken Alfredo. We also stopped by Braum’s for some pumpkin ice cream… but they were out so we settled for egg nog and peanut butter cup. Graham was so funny… as I waited in the car he ran in and told everyone he could that we were starting our labor. We got some great service.

I was so excited that our son’s birthday would most likely be the next day. My heart was a little broken that he couldn’t choose his own birthday but I fully understood and trusted my care providers advice and judgment. Graham and I decided early on, and took many people’s great advice, to fully put our birth in to our midwives hands… that they are fully prepared and knowledgeable about what we needed to progress our labor and to bring our son in to this world healthy and happy.

The next morning came without more than one hours rest for me but Graham seemed to sleep at full eight hours. I knew that he would need it for our big day! At 6am my contractions were only lasting about 45 seconds and were 4 minutes apart. We were so excited and thought that this meant that our labor was moving along quite quickly. We called the birthing center… no answer… good sign that no one else was in labor and we would be the main focus! We called Carol and told her of our progress and she said that we could head to the birthing center to be there by 9am and not to take the half of Cytotek they sent us home with because we were already progressing so well, or so we thought.

I took a shower and we loaded up the car. It was amazing to look at the car seat in the back and knowing that it would soon be filled with the most important thing in the entire world! We stopped at Starbucks to get a Hot Chocolate and some coffee for Graham (not that he needed it).

We arrived at the birthing center on Thursday, December 3rd and were greeted by our other midwife, Cherie. She checked us and said that we weren’t dilated and our cervix was still hard and not ripened.She suggested inserting a Foley catheter (not in my bladder) and to fill up a balloon that would be attached to a weigh. She said that this is a way that would tell my body to relax and release and could send messages to my brain to release and dilate to 3cm. We decided to move ahead with this measure. Side note; I think throughout the birth the vaginal exams were one of the most painful parts… I did not like them at all… this procedure was the start of many, many horrible exams.

After being fixed up with the balloon we rested in a side room for one hour. It wasn’t painful at all just uncomfortable. After one hour with the weight on Cherie removed the weight and instructed us to walk for one hour with the full balloon still intact. We started walking in the 40 degree weather and my contractions picked up. We were once again excited that this meant that labor was progressing. On our walk once a contraction hit we would stop and sway together… this helped because I couldn’t walk though them! Side note again; my contractions felt like low menstrual cramps that wrapped around to my back and were about 1000x stronger than what I normally feel when that time of the month rolls around – I couldn’t breathe, move or talk when I got a contraction – they also felt like diarrhea cramps.

After an hour we went back in to the birthing center and were rechecked by Cherie. We were about 2 cm and our contractions were still random; at this time Cherie suggested breaking our water. We discussed this and decided to trust her and went ahead. It is AMAZING how much water was around our son… I think she said it’s about 1 full gallon. The breaking of my water didn’t hurt and it wasn’t painful but we knew this would put us on a time restraint. Upon breaking my water we progressed to 4cm.

We ate a little lunch of soup and crackers and continued walking. Cherie said “keep walking through those contractions” and Graham and I realized that we weren’t supposed to stop and rock when I got a contraction… oops.

After we returned from walking we were able to bring in our bags from home and were officially ‘checked-in’ to the beautiful birthing room downstairs.Cherie checked me again and said that I was still at 4cm; this was about 4:00pm.

I don’t remember much after this point. I know that we were instructed to walk many, many more times and I tried various things such as a shower (loved it), bath (hated it), squatting (hated it) and using the birthing ball (eh). At around 6pm we were 6cm and stayed there until 10pm.

At 10pm Cherie walked in and told us that she was starting to be concerned about my progress, or lack thereof, and said that if we hadn’t made any progress by midnight we would need to discuss the possibility of being transferred to Baylor Hospital. By this point I was so exhausted and frustrated, I wanted to just give up and go to Baylor. Cherie was very patient with me and said that we could try a few more things before being transferred. She instructed me to lie down on my left side and wouldn’t let me get up. She said this could help me relax and help him engage in to my pelvis and turn so I wouldn’t experience so much back pain.

We tried this and during a contraction I was in so much more pain that I ever imagined. I was frustrated because at each pause in our progress our birth assistant would tell us that the pain we were feeling during contractions was as bad as it was going to get… which was incorrect. I just kept feeling more pain and more pain.

I started watching the clock and my contractions were every 3 minutes, lasting for 1 minute. I remember crying during each contraction and telling Graham “I’m SO serious!” That’s all I could get out… but I was so seriously over this labor… I just wanted the pain to go away and I just wanted to give up. (We knew from our labor classes that this meant that I was in transition.)

Midnight rolled around and Graham leaned over and whispered “our son has a new birthday”… I just wanted to SCREAM at him… “I DON’T CARE!” … I didn’t though.Not a few minutes later I had this horrible pain that felt like I needed to pass a huge bone… I decided to get up to use the restroom. This was a bad idea because of course I had a contraction while urinating and I couldn’t get up and off the toilet. After about 10 minutes I knew that I was getting close to pushing and I didn’t want to be one of those people that had their baby on the toilet. I got up and our birth assistant instructed me to squat using the four-poster bed… I told her I hated this and she said, “Well this is the way we’re going to get your baby out.” She checked me while I was squatting and his head was visible!

Graham and I were originally the type of people that didn’t want to see his head crowing… but after all we had been through we were so excited that it was finally time to start pushing and our birthing assistant put a mirror under me so we could see.

At this point I could finally muster out the entire sentence I had been working on and I said… “I’m SO serious… I want to go to the hospital… I can’t do this anymore.” Our birth assistant said, “we won’t make it… it’s time to push”. I pushed while squatting and they quickly instructed me to get in the bed. Our birth assistant ran upstairs to get Cherie and it felt like she was gone forever… while I had this horrible urge to push that I couldn’t control.

The pain truly felt like a bone had dislodged in my body and people were telling me to push it out… there was also the “ring of fire” pain that I had heard so much about but it lasted a lot longer than 45-60 seconds like we’re told.

Graham says at this point I was in a trance-like stage where I just did was I was told but I wasn’t all there. After I climbed up on to the bed I tried to push again but his head moved back up my birthing canal. They instructed me to squat on the bed and they checked his heart rate. It was seriously low and Graham says this was the first time he wished we were in the hospital. I don’t remember this part but I expected our son to have the cord wrapped around his neck, I forgot to prepare Graham for this fact so he freaked out. They were preparing to do an episiotomy to get him out but Cherie told me to push harder than ever and so I did… after the first push his head came out and Cherie unwrapped the cord from around his neck then Graham grabbed our son and I pushed him the rest of the way out. I thought that I would feel the distinction of head, shoulders, rest of body… but I didn’t… it just all HURT. After catching our son Graham put him in my arms and I think I just said… “wow”. I was amazed that we were parents and there was actually a human being inside of me, that was our son, and that I did it! Once he was born I delivered the placenta and we learned the reason he was able to move around so much… my placenta was heart-shaped, not oval shaped like normal.

Unfortunately, I feel that because I was so exhausted from the natural labor, I didn’t appreciate my newborn son immediately, like everyone said I would.Our birth assistant and midwife eventually took our son from us to check him out. They were initially concerned about a few things but after checking with a few pediatricians, we found out everything was fine. He weighed in at 7lbs. 2oz. and was 21 inches.

Our handsome, wonderful son was born at 1:00am on Friday, December 4th. We were allowed to stay at the birthing center longer than normal because he came so early in the morning.

After labor and trying to breast feed him, I got up to take a shower and it was amazing how light I felt. After the shower and trying to nurse him again we fell asleep, together for the first time as a family, about 6:00am. We woke back up about 8:00am and I finally felt the amazement I expected to feel when our son was first born… he was here and I was so proud to be his mother… he was amazing to look and coo at!! I thought he really looked like his daddy but has my body-type and my long neck. We then discussed postpartum instructions with our birth assistant and then Graham gave him his first bath... just them two together... so sweet! After the bath we ordered breakfast and Graham left to pick it up. We finished breakfast and headed home about 11am.

Our labor was very difficult and much more painful than anticipated. We knew that there would be pain and we were told to expect this and we did… but you can’t prepare yourself for the pain that you will encounter… it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt. I was actually quite surprised when our birth assistant visited us the next day at our house and made the comment “if everyone knew how painful it would actually be, no one would do it!” This made me feel like I’ve been lied to by everything we’ve read, watched and by what all of our educators and friends have told us; they weren’t honest about HOW painful it actual is. So, this is our honest birth story… I know each labor is unique and different… but this is my opinion on my labor. For our next labor we will enjoy the comfort of a hospital with all of the perks and relaxation techniques that a hospital can offer.

On a more positive note, our son is awesome and we are very blessed to have a great, easy-going baby. We are enjoying every second of parenthood and he’s already changed so much.

From now on we will update the blog about family progresses and milestones. Thank you for joining us on our journey and for all of the support and love we’ve received. We are blessed to have so many great friends and family following us on our expedition.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

HE'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our son, Graham Alden Quattlebaum, arrived Friday, 12.4.09, at 1:00am exactly! We had a very long and difficult natural birth but are enjoying every second of parenthood. He was born at 38 weeks, weighing 7lbs 2oz, 21 inches. He has a head full of red hair.
We will post the birth story soon!
Love you all and thank you for supporting us

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Today at 3:15pm we had an appointment with our midwife, Carol. I had a few concerns going in to this appointment because lately I've been having some problems like blushing when I have a Braxton-Hicks contraction, trouble breathing (more than normal) and a racing heart. So, I notified Carol of this upon starting our appointment and she checked my blood pressure.... it is really high. She took it about 10 different times in both arms and in one arm she got a reading of 130/80 and in the other arm she got 120/90 (120/80 is normal for a healthy MAN... they like pregnant women to be in the 70's). She then said, 'we need to start discussing an induction'.

So, the converstation consisted us of asking tons of questions. She said that they start off the induction with giving me a medicine, inserted, that will ripen my cervix. They sent us home, to get some rest and at 6am tomorrow we are to call the birthing center to make sure that there aren't any other people in labor and then we can take another dose of this medicine, orally this time. Then we get to head up to the birthing center at 10am! Once there they will check me again for dialation/riping/etc and we'll go from there.

Right now I am feeling a LOT of contractions. It's so different than I imagined. It actually feels like a Braxton-Hicks combined with low menstrual cramping/diarrhea cramping (sorry TMI... just FYI) . I would say they are about 20 minutes apart for about 30 seconds. If our contractions get to 6 minutes apart (from the start to the start of another) lasting for one minute each for one hour then we get to head up to the birthing center tonight and we are in full-swing of labor (this is called the 6-1-1 rule because we live far away from the birthing center... normally it's 5-1-1). 

We are SO excited right now but we're also nervous. I'm a little upset that Little Graham doesn't get to pick his own birthday and I feel like we're pressuring him... but Carol explained to me how hard it is for him to stay inside of me with high blood pressure. She said he is ready... so we fully trust their opinion.

We plan on updating facebook every hour tomorrow. Please don't call us as we will need to keep communications open with our families. We will post something (hopefully a picture), even if its small, as soon as he joins us!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Made-Ahead Dinners

As the previous post suggests, I have been a crazy-soup-making lady lately! Here are the soups I've been making. I've also been given a great tip to make these soups and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then pop them out in to a zip lock bag and freeze for up to three months. Three or four ice cubes are a serving size. I made one soup and froze it in ice cube trays, which worked well, but it was a bit messy. The other three soups I put in individual ziplock bags with about one cup for single serving sizes.

NOTE: I increased the two cups of water to four cups and added a little extra pasta.


Super Soups

Super Soups
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 8 servings

What You Need

Take 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil,
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Velveeta Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product,
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth,
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing Mix and
1 cup uncooked bite-sized pasta and
Mix & match your recipes from these options...

meat options vegetable choices soup base possibilities

1 lb. boneless chicken pieces (1 in.) 3 sliced carrots, 1/2 cup sliced celery, 1 small chopped onion 1 additional can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth

1 lb. ground beef 1 cup corn, 1 chopped bell pepper 1 jar (16 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa

1/4 lb. Oscar Mayer Pepperoni, coarsely chopped (add with the chicken broth) 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1 small chopped onion, 1 chopped bell pepper 1 can (15 oz.) pizza sauce

meatless 3 sliced carrots, 1 chopped bell pepper, 1 chopped zucchini 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) undrained diced tomatoes, 1 can (15-1/2 oz.) drained and rinsed kidney beans

Then follow our 3 simple steps...

COOK and stir meat in hot oil in large saucepan until cooked through; drain. Add vegetables; cook 3 to 5 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
ADD chicken broth, soup base, 2 cups water and dressing mix. Bring to a boil.
ADD pasta; cover. Simmer 10 to 12 min. or until pasta is tender. Add Velveeta; cook until melted, stirring occasionally.
TACO BELL® and HOME ORIGINALS® are trademarks owned and licensed by Taco Bell Corp.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Freeze It
Allow soup to cool, then portion into smaller containers. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator as needed. Reheat small portions (about 2 servings of frozen soup) in the microwave on HIGH for about 5 min. or until heated through, stirring after 3 min.
Family Fun
For a change of pace, cut vegetables into interesting shapes and use fun shapes of pasta, such as stars or alphabets. Because smaller pastas may cook in a shorter time, follow package directions for suggested cook times.
Prepare as directed, substituting 1 cup uncooked Minute Brown or White Rice for the uncooked pasta.

Friday, November 27, 2009

False Alarm -- Did I Miss Something?!

On Wednesday, November 25th I was on a soup-making kick. I woke up and ate breakfast, checked my email... worked for a little while and then started my soup-making about 1pm. I had to finish making two different soups because the fresh vegetables were starting to go bad. At about 3pm Graham called to say that he was on his way home... when I finished talking to him I bent over in a pain I hadn't felt before during my pregnancy. It was a menstrual cramping on my front right side... I breathed through it and quickly grabbed my computer to do research on this weird feeling. These cramps were coming on about every 10 minutes for about 30-45 seconds. The March of Dimes website says that cramping could be the on-set of labor... so, I called Graham. I told him what was going on and he said, "Sounds like we're in labor..." I told him he didn't know what he was talking about because I wasn't having the 'Braxton-Hicks' contractions (which I THOUGHT was the only thing I was going to have to deal with during labor). He said, "Where were you when we went over the fact that labor was going to feel like menstrual cramps?!" I quickly got off the phone with Negative-Nancy Graham and just laid on the floor in pain. I was exhausted from cooking all day, so I got in to bed and feel asleep right after Graham got home. When I woke up... the cramps were gone! Whew...

So, apparantly I thought that labor was going to consist of harder Braxton-Hicks contractions that wrap all the way around to my back. I truly don't remember in all of my education, Bradley classes, and in researching... anyone ever saying anything about MENSTRUAL CRAMPING... ughhhh... sounds terrible!!!  Haha...

Hopefully we won't have anymore false alarms... but it was kinda exciting knowing that we are getting close... it was nice having a little test run though.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Graham and I wanted to share with each of you what we are thankful for during this Thanksgiving.

5. Our health - although we may get bumps and bruises every now and then... we are thankful that we are able to show our love for each other in making a child and that we are healthy and happy.

4. Our “jobs” - we are both so thankful that we wake up each morning and truly love what we do. We don’t even consider them jobs, more like hobbies.

3. Our friends - we have the best friends that are so thoughtful and caring. I'm so happy to be married to someone who showed me the meaning of keeping your true friends close. Although we may not always get to see our friends -- I hope they know how important they are to us.

2. Our soon-to-be son - we can’t wait for the opportunity to be your parents and to love you unconditionally.

1. Most of all – we are thankful for our families. Without them we would not be who we are or where we are today. Thank you for your support and love.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Thank you for following us during this journey and truly caring about our family. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Lowercase g is the length of a stalk of Swiss chard

We had another baby appointment yesterday! We say 'another' because it's amazing how often we feel we have to go to these now. Here are the details:

I am negative for Group B Strep -- Whew.
My weight is currently 163 (33 pounds gained total).
My blood pressure is in the lower range again - 112/80.
Lowercase g's heartrate was 138 -- the lowest it has been, meaning he is turning in to a normal human being and not just a fetus!
Fundus Height - 36 centimeters.
Approximate Weight - 6.5 lbs. 

We are so thrilled to announce that he is still head down and I got to feel his head this time. Graham was right, in that it DOES feel like a softball.

The CNM gave me an exam and said that although we are not dilated she can totally feel the cervix now and it is softening and ripening (all very technical terms.. haha). This website (link) says:

"One of the final signals that labor is near is the ripening of the cervix. Ripening of the cervix refers the process by which the cervix thins, softens, becomes relaxed, and opens in response to uterine contractions. Once the cervix ripens and then dilates, this allows the fetus to pass through the cervical opening."

Last appointment she couldn't even feel the cervix and suggested that we do some backwards-leaning squats everyday for 30 minutes, use Evening Primrose Oil and another very private suggestion! It must have worked! I hope next appointment we'll be slightly dilated.   

Other than our appointment I think that I feel completely ready for him to be here. Although, on second thought, we dropped the ball on finding a pediatrician until NOW. We have our interview with him next Thursday - so hopefully he won't come before then.

And -- I happen to have the worst heartburn EVER right now but only at night. So, I sleep a lot during the day because it's the only time I really can sleep. Also, lowercase g is getting very, very strong. When I'm trying to get to sleep he thinks it's time to party... not so fun for me though. I can't decide if I should get up and walk around or watch TV or just lay there, miserable, hoping he'll go back to sleep so I can sleep. Oh... the wonderful days ahead!

Prediction: I'm thinking that he's going to join us the second week of December and be in the high 7's to low 8's (pound-wise). We'll see...

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Must Haves" Party

Last night I attended another Metroplex Baby & Kids party (like the "Best & Hottest" where we got our awesome car seat). This party was called "Must Haves - Products from Pregnancy to Infancy."

The cost for attending the party was $30.00 but unlike the Best & Hottest, we didn't get to preview the products that were available for us to win until we were already at the party. But, once we got there - Dena & I went together - we found out that they had tons of different items like a breast pump, highchair, booster seat, bouncer, play yard (larger items) and smaller items such as changing pads, wraps, journals, belly casts, baby food kits, clothes, etc.

We all got to go and pick our gift bags - which were filled with items such as night time diapers, leg socks, soaps and inside of the soaps was a number that predetermined which order you would get to choose your prize. Out of 53 mom's I was number 40 -- not too bad, considering I had such a great number last time.

They served us dinner - which wasn't that great - and then it was my turn to choose! There were two mom's in front of me still choosing but the three products I had my eyes on were - a baby food maker kit, a journal with timer for feedings/changing/etc, and a starter kit of flush able/reusable diapers! The two people in front of me choose two of my top choices.... leaving me with:

I looked online today and this starter kit usually retails for $26.99... so I got my money's worth. We haven't purchased any reusable diapers yet but we really wanted some -- so I'll give these a try. The starter kit comes with 2 cloth pants and 10 flushable refills. The colors of the cloth pants are orange and off white and they have lowercase "g"s on the butt -- personalized for my little g!! Haha... it certainly seems that way.

The cloth pants are super soft, so we're really hoping they work out. I think we are going to try out the 10 refills and then decide to purchase more or not. Their website says that in all parents will need about 4-6 pairs of each size (S,M,L) of cloth diapers to get them through to potty training and about 6,000 flush able refills. WOW -- but they are priced about the same as disposable diapers, so why not?! We'll let you know how they work out.

Here are more photos from last night:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Head Down!

34 weeks

Today we had our 36 week check up at The Birth & Women's Center with Cherie, our midwife. We were initially concerned about this appointment because we didn't want to hear anymore bad news about little Graham being Transverse Lie. Luckily, we got some good news that he is head down and on my right side. Upon pushing on my belly she called Graham over and let him feel our son's head. She pushed Graham's hands in to my belly and Graham quickly pulled his hands away and said "that's too hard"... our midwife laughed and said that it won't hurt him. Graham later said that it felt like a softball and was a cool thing to feel.

During this appointment we were also examined for Group B Strep and my midwife checked to see if I was dilated. I'm not dilated and my cervix was still really high and she couldn't find it. She suggested that I do low squats but to lean back while doing the squat... she said to not do the squats that we do in yoga that are forward leaning... she really wants me to focus on getting him to slide down. She said to do leaning-back squats with my elbows on the couch for 30 minutes a day. She also said to do leaning-back squats while holding on to the door (about 20 per day). Another suggestion was that I continue to lay on my left side while sleeping, which is getting painful because I will wake up and my hip will be asleep and throbbing.

I've also had slightly-high blood pressure at the last two appointments. She said that I need to spend 2 hours in bed each day and to not workout or walk anymore. I asked if I could go ahead and walk in the Turkey Trot (a tradition) and she just looked up and rolled her eyes and laughed... I'm guessing this means NO! Not working out is going to be difficult because I think that I've had such a great pregnancy because of Prenatal Yoga but I also think that it could be the assisting reason that he was Transverse Lie. But, I guess I can take the next few weeks off.

Because of how our pregnancy is going now... we're back on our original due date of December 16th. We're hoping it's sooner but all of the signs are pointing closer to the 16th. We'll see....

Also, we had our mandatory Saturday class this past weekend and learned more about what to do when we think we are in labor, the things that will happen during and after labor too. It was a great, very informative Saturday. After class Sybil and I went to Babies R' Us to finish purchasing the 'essential items' we needed, which was fun but babies are EXPENSIVE!

We are almost ready and glad that things have taken a turn for the best with positioning. Positive thoughts really, really do work!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Room With A View...

Here are pictures, promised a while ago, of his room and the guest restroom (his bathroom, as well). Enjoy! We are really impressed on how well it actually turned out. Thank you to everyone who assisted us in making our dreams for his room a reality! We originally didn't want/or have a theme for his room but as soon as we found the cloud light we were hooked. From there we found the beautiful, retro-looking, hot air balloon mobile and wall decal.

Little Graham's crib and custom, organic bedding with hot air balloon
mobile and Uppercase Living wording that says "You are our dream come true"

His bookshelf... we ordered too much furniture so this had to fit in the corner.
Still organizing the items on the shelf.

His changing table/dresser with white letters that spell his name...
I loved these at Restoration Hardware because the letters have hooks on them,
which seem less 'girly' to me, but they were $15.00 per letter. We found these at Hobby
Lobby for $3.00 per letter! WOW!

One of my favorite aspects of his room... his cloud light on the ceiling from Ikea.
We paired this with a dimmer and I painted four clouds on the ceiling... completing the
"dream/sky" theme.

A great view of the wording/bedding/mobile. 

His Bathroom:

Our wishes for his restroom were that guests could also use it without feeling like they were in a baby's bathroom. I know this bathroom is fun and will grow with Little Graham and Hollis (our second child... haha). 

We found the cloth shower curtain, towels and rugs at Ikea (total maybe $25.00).
We then took these items in to Home Depot and bought the 2.5 oz. $2.00 paint in four matching colors. Once we got back home we used our nesting bowls (glass kitchen bowls)
and traced random groupings of circles on the walls.
We also added the Uppercase Living wording "Rub-a-Dub-Dub".
We love the way it turned out!


Friday, November 13, 2009

An Interesting Day....

So, we check in to Baylor Hospital at 4pm today. The super-friendly nurse brings us in to our very spacious room and asks me to change in to a gown. She then starts the 1000 questions to finish checking us in. She also hooks us up to a heart rate monitor to listen to the baby's heartbeat. The first position she finds the heart at is right under my right lung; then all of a sudden we loose his heartbeat and she finds it in my lower left abdomen. As soon as she finishes finding the heartrate again and the questions, about 5pm, the sonogram-technician arrives to talk to us about seeing our little guy. He states that he will be assisting Dr. Lawson in turning the baby and they will be monitoring him throughout the process. He pushes around on my stomach and says that he can still feel that our little guy is transverse lie (his hiney was under my left lung and his head was in my right side).

He lays down my bed and turns down the lights to start the sonogram. Little Graham was very active during this time because when my midwife called at 1pm (earlier in the day) she said that I would not be able to eat anything -- just incase of the sonogram prediciment.

Once he spreads the cold gel on my baby bump he is surprised to find our Little Graham moving as much as he was... and sure enough he moves on down to the correct position... head down, hiney up. Dr. Lawson arrives about the same time, with our midwife, and everyone can't believe what they are seeing! They state that I have a lot of fluid around our son (which is a good thing) and that he is still able to move around as much as he wants.

We all breathe a sigh of relief and get ready to head home. During checking out he is still head down -- upon walking out to the car I can tell that he flips back to transverse lie... however, we have decided that we are not going to worry about this until at least 38 weeks and he can't move around as much.

I think I'm going to have a semi-difficult child on my hands... just like Graham! We are so thrilled that we don't get to meet him today and are prepared to accept him in to our lives when ever and where ever that may be.

External Aversion

Update from yesterday...

I heard from my midwife this morning and she stated that she would get us in to Labor & Delivery as soon as possible with Dr. Yolanda Lawson in Baylor Hospital. It is not a super emergency but she wants to get us in and do an external aversion (where they physically turn little Graham). This has to be done in L&D because I will be hooked up to heart rate monitors and a sonogram machine to make sure that he is ok during this process. If things take a turn for the worst, then we will be exactly where we need to be to do a C-Section.

They said most likely the aversion will be done tomorrow. My midwife stated that she will be there with us, which makes me feel much better, and all of the Transverse Lie cases where they have done an aversion have been successful and she has never had to go in to an emergency C-Section.

My mom is here with me today so we are going to get packed and ready to go -- just so we have everything with us tomorrow. We will be updating the blog with more information as we get a definate time and date.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And The Problem Is....

So, we were recently referred to a sonogram technician at a local doctors office because our little guy hadn't grown in two weeks (fundal height 31 two weeks ago... fundal height 31 now).

Today we went to the office to get a sonogram and learned that the problem is that Little Graham is Transverse Lie. You can read all about it here, at

The good news is that he is fine, growing leaps and bounds. Our midwife was measuring us vertically and he's growing horizontally, like the photo above. He has all of his body parts -- kidneys, great looking heart, lungs, liver... etc. His head is shaped like Grahams -- big and round, instead of like mine, long and slender. In a third trimester sonogram some items can be measured and be a big off but the measurements we were given are:

He's measuring at 37 weeks (+/- 2 weeks because 3rd trimester)
His weight is 6.5 lbs (+/- 1 lbs. because 3rd trimester)

So... all of that is good news.

The bad news is that the above website states that it is easier to turn a breech baby than a transverse lie baby in the third trimester. This is because the uterus can actually turn and make it harder for him to turn head down.

So, what does all of this mean? Although there are plenty of things we are going to try to do to get him to turn head down... all in all if he is still transverse lie he will not be able to be born vaginally, as originally hoped. Also, since he is transverse lie he isn't putting pressure on my placenta, which should begin to soften and which makes us go in to labor, so we may need to be induced.

However, as long as we have a happy, healthy baby we truly don't care how he comes!

Family Shower

I had a GREAT shower on Saturday, November 7th that my gracious sister-in-law held in my honor. (Graham was away with his second-wife/best friend Patrick and they were hunting with my Dad). Although I say above that this was a 'family-shower' there were also some really close friends that attended as well.

My adorable shower cake that said "Do Not Open Until December. Love, God"

This was one of the best showers I've ever attended. We started by socializing together and then moved on to some super-fun but NOT corny shower games. The first game was Baby Taboo and every person got three cards. The cards had one word on it that their "team" was suppose to guess and a few words on it that they could not say. This was a great ice-breaker... everyone got to know each other.

Grandmom Playing Baby Taboo! Good Job Grandmom!!

The second game was in honor of little Grahams daddy... we took a quiz on infants/children's laws in Texas. It was about a 10 question game and our cousin Amanda won -- and she DOESN'T even live in Texas (she lives in FLORIDA)!!

Amanda, Aunt Betty and Rivers who surprised me and
came in town from Virginia and Florida!!

The third game was where everyone got to guess the cost of items that my sister-in-law bought. The items were placed in a basket and included things such as shampoo, baby wash, lotion, oil, wipes, diapers, etc. The total cost of the basket was $56.00, I believe.

The final game was the ribbon around the belly game -- which I requested to do. I want to put the ribbon in our baby book and remember the size I was now. My best friend, Sybil, won by using her boobs as a guide... GOOD IDEA SYBIL!

Finally, the shower had an emotional aspect to it... as I should have known. My sister-in-law passed around two crystal containers that had blue beads and silver beads inside of them. She explained that each person should take one bead from each container and the blue bead represented their wish for little Graham and the silver bead represented their wish for me in labor/motherhood. Each person went around the room and placed one blue bead and one silver bead on a strand that eventually made a bracelet for me to wear during labor and to use as a focus tool. What everyone said means the world to me and I hope to pass the bracelet on to my son's wife someday when they are expecting their first baby. The best comment was that several people hoped that little Graham was exactly like his Daddy... with courage, strength, dedication and values. This meant so much to me because I know how lucky little Graham has it.... with such a great father! I hope he knows that his father is a hero to many people! I love it that this bracelet was made by all of the people that mean the most to me -- we are so blessed to have such support and love from our family and friends.

My sister sharing her wish for me and little g.

I handing the full bracelet back to Cheri.

Thank you Cheri for an awesome shower! We feel so loved and appreciate everything you do for us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had a great time this Halloween at our friends Jinna & Dougs house. Halloween every year is a HUGE deal for us... and those that know me, know that I plan for this holiday before the current Halloween is even finished.

This year we handed out candy to all of the adorable trick-or-treaters at our new home and it was actually the first year for Graham and I to do this together! Afterwards, Sybil & Tim came over and we headed to see our adorable niece and nephew all dressed up. Then we headed out to The Danser's house and had a great time mingling and playing games all night. I tried to take a nap during the day, so that Graham could truly enjoy the last Halloween that will be like this... but when midnight rolled around I was exhausted already. We stayed out until 1am and didn't even make it to a Waffle House (which is a tradition every Halloween). But overall, we had a great time and we can't wait for a completly different Halloween experience next year.

Here are our photos:


Friday, October 30, 2009

Grahams Thoughts: Issue 5

I can not beleive how fast this year has gone by. I remember in April, when we found out that we were expecting, thinking that December was going to feel like it was light years away. I've never quite understood when I heard "older" people talking about how time flies until now. I blinked and it is almost time for him to be here. I am so glad we decided to do the 4d sonogram lastweek. To see him move and pucker his "Sara" lips makes me smile. It is amazing that he already has me wrapped around his little finger. I HAVENT EVEN MET HIM YET!!!! To see him open his eyes and bite on his funny little arm is just such a miracle. He even has hair...HAIR!!!!
This time of year has always been Sara and I's favorite time. We absolutely love halloween and getting into our awesome costumes(Always saras ideas!) and spending time with our friends. When he gets here things are going to change but I think this process has made both of us better. I am going to miss staying out till 5 am on halloween and hanging out with a bunch of cross-dressers at the Waffle House. But knowing that he is almost here I can only think about the years of him getting to wear silly costumes and taking him out to Trick or Treat. I dont know when I changed but I have. I guess my thoughts are more just rambling this time but I am so excited...most of y'all already know that. I love little g. I love that Sara is willing to through this for and with me. Its going to be life changing...but..I am totally ready for that. Is it Decemeber yet??!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bride-Associates Baby Shower

Last Sunday, the girls I work with threw me a "Pamper The Prego" baby shower! It was so much fun. We had fun playing dress up, drinking tea, eating tons of sweets and I received some great spa gift items (for Mommy-time after Little Graham arrives).

Thanks girls for a great Sunday afternoon. I love you guys.

Gretchen, Sarabeth, Chelsey, Caroline & Suzann
All Dolled Up!

Beautiful Tablescape

We had fun making door hangers as one of the games we played!

Delicious Treats! Cheesecakes, Brownies, Cookies, Creme Brulee, Espresso Creme Cups!

Tea-Time! Look at how cute the table is!!!

Thank you also to PattyCakes and A Twist of Tea for your great hospitality!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


YAY... we had our 4D "sono-graham" today!!  We loved seeing our little guy and we think that Little Graham has a lot of both of us in his face.

Like his mommy, Little Graham's face is perfectly split in half....
From half of his nose up to his forehead: Graham (Daddy)
From half of his nose down to his chin: Sara (Mommy)

It's amazing to me because this is exactly how I am with my parents. From my nose up, I look like my Dad. From my nose down, I look exactly like my Mom.

I love how Little Graham has Graham's beady eyes, cro-magnon and forehead.
I love how he has my detailed upper lip and round chin AND chubby cheeks.

It was so nice to see him -- it's been since 18 weeks!!!  We can't wait to meet him in person.

To watch the videos, simply click on these links:

You can see his face -- the cord is in front of it.

Sono-Graham Part II
Face again

Sono-Graham Part III
Face with lots of movement -- he opens his hand and you can see his whole arm.

Sono-Graham Part IV
Face with him sucking on his arm... I don't know if he's found his hand yet. 

Sono-Graham Part V
Little Grahams foot -- who's toes does he have? We think he has a slightly longer second toe than his big toe... but NOT as long as his mommy's. 

Enjoy! We can't wait for him to meet all of you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My *AWESOME* Win!!

So, last night I attended the Metroplex Baby Best & Hottest Products Event. This event is for DFW mom's to go and check out products before they are released to the general product (some product have already been released). The cost to attend is $65.00 for VIP in which you get more items in your gift-bag, you get in earlier (to check out the items) and you get the choose your numbers first.

So, they let us in at 6pm (on the dot -- the doors were literally locked until then). We (Dena and me) check in and get a VIP name tag. Then we go and check out the goods. They have some really great things, but we were already pretty familiar with the products because you can view them on their website here. Then, we wait for about 45 minutes, until the other mom's are let in to the event.

At about 6:45pm they let us know how we will be picking our order. OH, in order to go and pick a featured item, you get a number from 1-105 and that is your choosing order. So, they say that they will release us by table to go and pick a ballon. Once we pick a ballon we have to WAIT to open it... we go and get dinner that was provided. Once everyone is through the food lines we get to open the package that is holding down the balloons. Inside there is 4 different mini candy bars with numbers on them. They spin a wheel and what ever picture the wheel lands on is your number. The wheel stopped on a Special Dark Candy Bar and I was number 22 -- WHICH IS AWESOME (because it's out of 105).

So, then they take mom's up to pick their items in fives. I had previously made a list of the items we'd wanted but I was sure because I was number 22, my number one item, a Britax Infant Car Seat would be taken. Sooner than I know it, it's my turn!!!  I go up with 5 other women and the woman in front of me is pregnant too and the car seat is still there, so I'm pretty convinced that she's going to snag it... but NO... she goes for the baby monitor!?!?!?  My number is up... I walk over to the Britax Infant Car Seat and ask if it's been taken and....


We officially have a car seat now... and can stop worrying about it. I also got some great things in my grab bag, so over all it was totally worth $65.00. Our car seat is the Britax Infant Chaperone Carrier and normally retails for $229.99. It is one of the best car seats in the market (the only reason we didn't register for it to begin with was the price). We are SO excited... now we just have to figure out how to install it but Graham is going to take it up to the station one day because they have an officer reserved for checking these things out.

Here are some additional photos from the evening:

My friends - Dena & Stephanie at the event with what they choose!